Poetry Competition with Good Morning Bedtime Story

Good Morning Bedtime Story (or GMBS for short), an online organization dedicated to advocating mental health awareness has announced plans for an international poetry competition, which closes on Sunday April 20th.

Evening scene Advert

Those who come in first, second or third place will receive a free GMBS poetry anthology (in e-book format), and a certificate. Not only this; the poem which comes in second place will be published online, and the poem which wins first prize will be published in the next GMBS anthology.

All contestants are able to send up to three pieces in total to: gmbscompetition@gmail.com

Every piece submitted must additionally:

-Have pertinence towards mental health

-Be attached in a Word doc. or docx. format

-Be 1.5cm spaced

-Be up to 100 lines in length

A confirmation e-mail is sent to notify the contestant their submissions were received.

Thank you for reading. Good luck!

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New Opportunities Available with Good Morning Bedtime Story

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen. I hope your New Years Celebrations were great. Sorry that I have been incognito for the past few weeks. On that note, I thought I would kick the New Year off by discussing opportunities with an online company I am associated with.

Good Morning Bedtime Story, an international online organization dedicated to building an awareness of mental health through writing, poetry, art and music has a number of new prospects that are coming alive in 2014.

The first is the announcement of a forum, where people will be able to discuss issues they are having whilst dealing with their mental illness, talk about their survival stories and offer advice to others who are suffering. We hope it will become an area of the internet where those suffering depression, bipolar, schizophrenia or any other form of mental illness will be able to congregate and safely discuss their lives, challenges and feelings.

Additionally on the forum, emerging artists will be able to showcase aspects of their artistic creations and acquire feedback in order to help become published. This will assist artists with becoming creative contributors in Good Morning Bedtime Story (GMBS) anthologies.

To help manage the forum, GMBS will require moderators to look at the conversations taking place to ensure that none begin to show racism, hatred, derogatory comments or excessive violence.

Moreover, GMBS still has a number of openings available for volunteers. Jobs will include updating social media pages; posting calls for submissions to anthologies; marketing any new ventures the organization is undertaking, and creating ideas to advantageously benefit the organizational cause.

GMBS is always open for online submissions, which will be posted on the website. Volunteers too are able to contribute with submissions, and those who volunteer their services have the opportunity to receive a recommendation for their resume.

If anyone is interested in becoming involved with GMBS, you can e-mail them at: gmbssubmissions@gmail.com

In the e-mail, explain why mental health matters to you, what ideas you have to help further promote the organization, and also outline whether you are interested in working as a forum moderator. Only successful applicants will be contacted.

If you ever want to submit work to GMBS, you may submit poetry, writing (both fictional and memoir), music and images relating to mental health to: gmbssubmissions@gmail.com

You are able to post under a pseudonym if you wish, and all published work remains copyright of the original creators. Be sure to include the word ‘submission’ in the title of the e-mail.

Thank you for reading and I hope you consider submitting work and contributing to the organization.

Have a great day. I wish all of you health and happiness in 2014. Cheers!

Alone…Again

 

I began this blog so that all of the content that I did not want impeding on my other blog, I could instead store here. Tonight however I am using this blog for an entirely different reason; therapeutic.

Well, hopefully.

It’s Friday night here in Australia as I type away this particular number, and the reason why I am writing this rather than being out on the town like other stereotypical young adults is for the simple reason that I have no paramour in my life to go out with.

Yes, I have friends (actually, I’m lying – I have a best friend and I have a couple of friends overseas) and I have a family (who I get along with as often as I travel to Mars by pony), but, like I have written previously on this blog, I have this hole inside me which can be filled only by a potential love interest, and as long as it remains unfilled, I am forced to endure this feeling of intense loneliness.

Okay, full confession? I have not being in a romantic relationship since 2009. In 2012 I began to think that a relationship may be a good thing to attempt, as I have continued to think since, yet attempting to start one is proving to be immeasurably difficult.

You see, as I have (I think) mentioned on this blog previously, I suffer from depression; I have since I was 15, and I have since convinced myself that no woman could ever possibly fall in love with me, which is what makes attempting to ask a woman out so difficult. I already think a woman is going to say ‘no’ before asking her out, so I normally don’t bother.

In June of this year I asked a woman out, and I probably should not have done so. Reason: she is SO out of my league (I say ‘is’ rather than ‘was’ because I bump into her every Monday – funny – I asked her out because I thought I would never see such a beautiful woman again, and yet, now I am forced to do so!) Basically, I was pretentious to think for a second I was her type; to think she was available; to even attempt such an action.

But, amazingly enough, after I asked her out and was rejected, I did not feel so bad – true, my ego was deflated and I was disappointed, but it was not as painful as the feeling I have in my gut right now.

A young woman I met in 2011 resurfaced in my life this year, and I never began to pay her much interest until now. In August we really began to communicate, and I told her I thought it was strange that a beautiful, intelligent woman such as herself was without friends, and we talked about not affiliating with people at the university campus we attend and she later mentioned she was single when I raised the idea of a possible partner.

Like I mentioned previously – I often convince myself that women cannot love me, and the same applies here.

I contemplated asking her out last week, but this feeling of mine halted my doing so, and today I just went for it; and it turns out she began to date a man not even a week ago. If I had asked her out last Friday as planned, I might have been lucky enough to be dating her right now.

This is of course, my own damn fault.

I guess the reason why I wanted to go out with her is, yes, because I like her, but the real inspiration for my asking was for a different reason entirely. I may have written this here previously, maybe not too – full confession, right? – but I have in the past attempted suicide, and one technique that I have been using to keep my depression from completely destroying my existence is to distract my mind; as long as I am doing something; working; going to university; talking to friends or family – I am not thinking of my depression.

However, this technique of mine has been waning recently, and I at present feel as depressed as I did back in 2010, which is the last time I attempted to take my life, and was the one time when I really nearly succeeded, and if my friend had not intervened, and, with the help of her father taken me to a medical clinic, I would not be here now.

On that note, I felt that going out with this young woman would do me good; would help me with my depression and fill the hole inside my gut.

Instead, that’s not going to happen. For a long time I wanted to die. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I don’t necessarily want to die now, but this is the first time that I can remember when I am scared; I don’t know if I will be able to continue without, well, love I guess.

Anyway, I just wanted to write this, and I have.

Thank you for reading!

Oh, and I don’t think this was therapeutic at all! But I tried, right?

How important are looks in everyday life?

How much do looks play in everyday life?

On my blog I occasionally ask rhetorical questions such as this, and I often do enjoy some of the responses that come from them.

I ask because, well, I guess it is kind of difficult to explain without being an open book.

I am unsure if I have ever admitted to this on the blog I am writing in now, and if not, I guess this is as good a time as any; my name is Derek, and I have lived with depression since I was 15.

Why do I admit to this you may ask? Well, I doubt my mental state was at all helped by a number of my high school peers who seemed to make it their duty to ensure that my years spent undertaking secondary education would be incredibly gruesome, and being continuously abused, physically as well as mentally left a number of scars, and not just the visible ones. Being continuously told to go kill myself only furthered my suicidal behavior; being told how much I was hated only made me hate myself even more; and being told how hideous I was only caused me to loathe the way I look more than I already did.

I am naturally one of those people who has never really been truly satisfied with my looks, but I neither have the intention (or the money) to go under the knife to do anything about that. Although I was once a child model, I believe my looks began to wane at an early age, and if you direct your attention stage right, I am sure you can make your own observation on how hideous I generally am.

All of this information leads directly back to the question I asked at the beginning of this post.

Now, before I continue, I will say this; even though I was once in a five year relationship with a woman, what I know about women I could probably write on a post-it note, and what I don’t know about women could fill a series of novels that could span for generations. I am writing this because I have a theory; I believe that women care more about looks than men do.

I do not mean any offense by that, and if I have caused it, I do apologise but please, allow me to explain. Many women talk about how they care about feelings, and this argument has been made during my university classes when women are discussing the lack of realism generated by certain female characters in literature, complaining that the author did not place another emphasis on emotions experienced by these fictional women.

However, I would argue, how often do you see a beautiful woman going out with a man who is not good looking?

As an example; there was a woman I knew during my undergraduate university course, who said online and off that she was ‘not shallow’, and thus did not care how a man looked like. She said all she cared about were feelings. Now, she told me once that she liked me – I believe this was a general observation of my character. When I asked her out, she was absolutely horrified that I had come onto her and made it very clear that she did not wish to date me – why not; simple – I wasn’t good looking enough. This, dear reader, was her reason for not going out with me.

This happened a year ago, so I am very much over such an occurrence. Instead, I am attracted to someone else now, and again, this pertains to my original question.

In July I asked this woman out, she told me she was already in a relationship, and I told her I would respect her answer and have since then left her alone. Unfortunately for me she happens to be in one of my university classes and I bump into her once a week, and although I am smart (that’s debatable) enough to realise that nothing is going to happen, and on every other day I barely ever think about her, it isn’t exactly easy for me to inevitably bump into a woman that I am attracted to and have this rather awkward silence hanging over us.

You see, I didn’t exactly ask this woman out in the conventional sense – I wrote her a poem, where I wrote about how beautiful she was; how fascinating I found her to be, and how I would happily die a million deaths to buy her a coffee, among a couple of other things that may be a little too embarrassing to write here. I didn’t sign my name or anything; I concluded the piece anonymously, and said that if she wanted to know the ‘writer of this here verse’ that if she were to wait around when lunch time arrived, that I would make myself apparent.
So, she waited around; she gave me her answer; and thus, awkward moment.

Now, one of the reasons I became attracted to this woman was, well, I guess her aurora; she just naturally stood out (you know, when everyone else ceases to exist and only this one person is visible in a crowd of several dozen other people), and another would be the fact she did not seem to be very popular. She never sat with the ‘cool crowd’ and during lunch breaks I noticed she only ever hung out with one other woman, and no one else.

These were two of the reasons I was attracted to her; I am not to sure these reasons apply so much now though. Yes, I am still attracted to her, I can’t help it (and unfortunately for me, being in the same class as her has helped me realise she isn’t just beautiful, but incredibly intelligent and has a healthy sense of humor, so, damn, damn, damn!) but she seems to have deliberately changed her attitude or something to conform to the societies in the classroom. I did mention that she seemed to not hang out with the ‘cool crowd’, and originally in class she didn’t either.

You see, there is this group of about three guys and three women who are ‘the cool kids’, a term once used by a young woman who said these three words before ditching her own friends to go sit with them. In class it generally seems that everyone is lining up to kiss their arse, be their next best friends, and if that is not enough, I know for a fact that at least one of the guys has dated one of the women, if not two of them judging by the conversations I have overheard him having with some of his other friends.

Now though, the woman I am attracted to; she sits with this crowd; and hangs out with them after class.

I will note that I am in no way this woman’s keeper, and she has every right to do whatever she wishes and spend time with whoever she wants. Just because I will never be associated with the ‘cool crowd’ in no way means that she should not be.

But this again goes back to the question regrading looks, but this is not the physical sense of the word, as much as it is the visual of one’s character. This certain young woman (I do know her name FYI, I am just refusing to use it in this post as to not further embarrass myself!) has obviously decided that she would rather look ‘cool’ than look like a loner (like me!) and although I respect her decision, it certainly means that if she were to break up with her current partner, that I have absolutely no chance of ever being with her since those associated with the popular crowd never lower themselves to interact with those beneath them.

Continuing on with the notion of if she were to break up with her current partner, would she remember that I am attracted to her and alert me to the fact that her relationship status has changed when she is ready to begin dating again? Or will she not give a damn and go out with either someone associated with the crowd she now associates herself with, or with someone more attractive than I am?

I realise it is not healthy to like someone who is unattainable. However, I find it difficult to move on when I am going to keep bumping into this woman until the start of November. Once this month comes around the chance I will see her again is minimal, and then I will probably be able to resume my life as usual. Until then, I am cursed to see this woman.

So again, I ask the question, how important are looks in everyday life?

I don’t necessarily need any answers, but anyone who wishes to contribute to this post, feel welcome to write your thoughts into the comments section below.

Thank you for reading dear reader and I hope you have a pleasant day.

…And the Crusade to hath hold unto: The story of youth, of life, of what is and what should not have been

 

This piece will contain some coarse language.

All World Issues is one particular blogger that I follow. A young, Australian woman, this particular blogger has some many interesting, yet at the same time relatable views on life and other such ideologies and concerns. On Saturday I do believe, the young lady conceived a post on bullying, and her general dislike of such a nefarious issue in society today, the post that she wrote located at the link below:

http://allworldissues.com/2012/09/08/my-crusade-to-help-the-youth/

By the conclusion of her piece, All World Issues asked her readership if they wouldn’t mind developing a post of their own in regards to any experiences they had endured in regards to bullying. So, with that said, this here post is my response in regards to such a question.

Now, I myself have had some experience with bullying in the past. Perhaps I should amend that last statement. I suffered quite a fair bit, no, a shit load, that’s the word, a rather large amount of bullying when I was younger that was active during my high school years.

If there was one thing I could say about high school, it’s that I survived.

All World Issues is not wrong when she says that bullies will often target you for no particular reason. So, why me? I wonder how many people say that when it happens to them?

I was new. Most people at the high school knew each other from primary school. I came from an area that was farther out, whilst a majority of the other students just lived around the corner, so had grown up together.

Amazingly enough, I was lucky – at first. I befriended those who were perceived as the ‘cool’ crowd. They allowed me access to their friends and appeared to treat me like one of their own – to my face. Behind my back it was a whole different story, and eventually I guess they just grew tired of talking behind my back and made sure it was to my face.

I guess I realised I was not wanted when I was simply told that – in one way or another. The guy sitting next to me said I did not belong there at the school. Then he said I should go fuck my mother. I was 12 at the time, and believe it or not this was the first time I had been told this. I had no prior experience and didn’t really know what to do, and so told him to go fuck himself and I wished him best wishes in getting his tiny prick any larger than one centimeter.

That apparently didn’t go down well.

I realised again that I was unwanted that same week when the same guy, along with all his friends said they wished that I would ‘fucking die’; how so – a sword to chop my head off – and then to hack me into a thousand pieces with.

Maybe a little over the top, but still, the message was acquired.

Then the violence started.

I was winded twice during my first year. On both occasions I did not suspect the punch was coming.

Later on in that semester, the guy who had said he wished I was dead became angry with me when he attacked me and I knocked him to the ground. He managed to get the better of me and beat the shit out of me for fun. The class laughed.

In the second semester though, something new happened. Wood work and other such classes are supposed to be fun for the guys. I leant three things during the class. One, I’m good enough with wood work that I would probably always pass with a solid C. Two, I’m probably always going to be a shitty carpenter, and three, a piece of wood hurts when you get clocked over the head by one.

I guess that guy who said he wished I was dead really meant it. I just never assumed he would take the threat to the next level. Perhaps I should have known – surrounded by sharp objects and such that someone who hated me enough might see the potential opportunity to do some damage. When the teacher temporarily left to go into the back room, the guy saw his chance – he grabbed a nice shiny piece of wood whilst my back was turned, and whacked it across the back of my head.

I got a whopping good head ache, nothing else, which I should have been glad for. I tried to tell the teacher what had happened – and apart from ignoring me, when it came time for the truth to come out, the entire class sided with the guy who had hit me – I apparently was a clumsy son of a bitch, had tripped, and had hit my head in the side of the metallic bench I was working at.

I came to the conclusion that I could not win and chose not to tell anyone else. I was the freak in the eyes of a majority of the people.

There were some that were not so bad. In music class I befriended a couple guys, and over the course of high school we founded ourselves a school band with some older students and managed to do a pretty good job at rocking and rolling around, which is probably one of my better moments from high school.

I could have left I guess to escape the times that weren’t so good, but a bunch of rotten apples were not going to scare me.

In the second year it was much of the same thing. There were less physical attacks and more verbal ones.

I must have been called every name available. A couple that stand out would include:

-fucking friendless freak (‘triple f’ for short)

-disgusting fucking creature

-mother fucking fucker

-fucking hideous lanky cunt

-Anglo cunt

-dead cunt

Imagine this every single day. It does get a little tiring.

I was also called gay, faggot and pofter a lot. It would seem that people who bully you are scared of sexuality. I however can attest to the fact that I’m a hetero, although I think those posts should not ever see the light of day because of their incredibly graphic content.

However, year nine was the definitive moment in my life.

Physical attacks went from one extreme to the next. I was frequently water bombed. I had my locker broken into on a couple of occasions and had my lock broken, with some of my goods been stolen.

Class also became more violent than ever before. I had a pair of scissors thrown at me on more than one occasion, and they clipped me twice. Once in the head, and once in the ear. I had a calculator thrown at me, but I guess my number wasn’t up cuz it missed. I had several pencil cases thrown at me on a number of occasions. I even on one occasion had a chair thrown in my direction. Now, you might ask, what was the teacher doing? My home room teacher and my English teacher were one and the same – and she joined in on the attacks. Not the physical ones, but on the verbal ones. I overheard her call me a freak on a couple occasions. I only assume she was talking about me because my name, the word ‘freak’, and the pointing in my direction all lead me to believe one thing. On top of that, on two occasions I told her about attacks and she said ‘what exactly do you want me to do? The class is working to the best of their capability, so quit your bitching.’

The only bitch in the room was her in my eyes. She didn’t last though – she left the following year to go make some other schools’ unhappy.

I began to do my best to keep out of the way of students. No one ever sat near me in class, and I was only so glad for that. I became quite sick and tired of doing things for those who hated me; staying out of their way, was more for them than it was for me.

This didn’t really work anyway.

Later on in the year, a substitute teacher took a class. The class, well, excluding me, joined into a circle, drew a picture of me, then set it on fire, and laughed as it burnt.

I guess for some that wasn’t nearly enough, for come lunchtime, it did not take me long to realise that the hissing sound I heard was deodorant – and it was been put onto me. You know that fire warning label on each bottle of spray. I always assumed it was there for a reason, and I suppose the guy who sprayed me was smart enough to figure that out too. I spun around to confront him and knocked the bottle from his hand. I turned back to close my locker, before taking off my jumper and dumping it in there too, shutting it and turning around – to find the guy with an ignited cigarette lighter in his hand.

Everyone around me looked real disappointed. I managed to avoid all of them, but not before they managed to spray me again.

I suppose the class was still lusting for blood come the conclusion for lunch, because when I returned, the class stood around me and the guy who had intended to turn me into the human torch took the lead. He shoved a knife in my face and told me he would kill me if I ever touched him again like I had when I knocked the spray can from his hands.

A teacher suddenly came around the corner, and everyone moved to their lockers.

Out of fear for my own safety, I began to carry a small knife in my bag. It was a simple switch blade piece, where you flipped it out from the side. It had a good enough point to it, but also had a ruler along the side of the metallic blade, for that was its primary job – ruling lines on paper and then cutting along them.

Unfortunately, one afternoon when I was placing books in my bag, a fellow student saw the blade, and told a teacher about it. Instant suspension for me – for one week. I told the vice principal who interrogated me everything that had led to this moment for I concluded that if I was going down, I would take as many people with me. The guy who had been attacking me all these years – the leader – suspended for three days. Justice?

During the course of my week long suspension I had the decency to acquire bronchitis, and so was away for two weeks rather than one, and upon returning to school, it was a very different place indeed.

For starters, the kid who saw my knife – he told the whole school it was plastic – and they believed him.

A foxy young woman who was a year older than I who I obviously in regards to my previous comment had a thing for also believed the stories. Let’s just say if she ever had a thing for me, it officially came to an end when she trusted all those who hated me over my word.

Secondly, a book had been passed around the year level – a blank exercise book, that was no longer blank at all. The pages in and around the middle were filled with the signatures of 126 people. I counted them myself. I assumed there were around 150 people in my year level, which meant that a lot of people had signed this petition, for that it what it was. A petition for what? The sentence in the very central pages said it all; we want Derek Childs to die.

How did I come by this book? My year nine homeroom/English teacher gave it to me. No, she didn’t sign it. I guess she thought she would get in trouble. I took it to the vice principal. His response?

He asked if I had been attacked recently. I said no. He asked if I had any wounds on me. I said no. He came to the conclusion that this was simply students been students and told me to toss the book in the trash and forget about it.

Forgetting about it was a little difficult. It did not take long for me to be attacked in class again, and after I ended up on the ground, in an attempt to redeem myself I really went to town on the guy who had attacked me – and I kicked his arse up and down the classroom. Well, not quite, but I did a good enough job.

There are however always consequences for embarrassing your enemies, and I paid mine the next day. I only wish that when people chose to fight you, they did so on their own. In a fair one on one fight, although I would have rather avoided such an occurrence, I had a considerable chance of winning. One on several though – excuse my language, but I was fucked.

Long story short, I ended up on the ground.

Eventually all of this became too much for me. There is some aspects of what happened I am going to avoid due to the fact that I feel I’ve embarrassed myself enough and there are some other occurrences that I do not want to touch because I don’t want to write about those painful moments, so I will just skip to what I inevitably did.

In class one day I found myself in another confrontation when the teacher left to yell at a misbehaving student. I had a number of items thrown at my head, before been told again how the class wished I would die. One such item thrown at me was a pair of scissors – the person who threw them also yelled out how he wished I would kill myself with them.

Now, I don’t know if I really wanted to actually kill myself, or if I simply wanted the attention of the teachers who had been ignoring me all these years; but I took that pair of scissors, opened them up, and with all my might I shoved one of the sharp tips into my left wrist. I then proceeded to do this five times, over and over again. I did not slice – I simply stabbed. I aimed for a beautiful blue vein and went to town.

As for the class – they cheered me on. That was until the blood began to seep out from the wound I had created. For some odd reason as I sat there, the blood flowing across my fingers and onto the carpet, the class actually became frightened and the one who had lead the attacks all these years ran for the teacher and told her what had happened.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on who you were at the time I guess, the damage I had done was not terrible enough that I found myself on deaths door – no.

I didn’t need stitches, but I did need a few Kleenexes and a good couple large band aids that needed to be changed a few times over the course of the day because the blood kept seeping through. I was fixed up at the nurses office, and the leader of the bullies was expelled.

Well, it only took three years.

As previously mentioned, he was their leader, so after that the physical violence died down. The verbal attacks didn’t though. If anything, the classes seemed more pissed off than ever that I had survived.

There was one teacher at the school who was particularly nice though, and he told me that as students grew older the attacks would die down, and very gradually I guess they did over the next three years. Very slowly, but still, they died down.

Of course, the one change that happened in year nine was that I changed myself. I began to stop caring what people thought, and I instead wore that ‘freak’ title they gave to me like a badge. This was of course after my little incident with the scissors. They thought I was a freak, and so I made sure that they would not forget it.

I survived high school. I made a couple friends here and there that are still friends to this day, and I was loathed by all the rest.

I am certain that lots of people have experienced worse than I. I agree with All World Issues that bullying is pretty horrible, but it ain’t going to stop. I don’t get bullied any more, but I know that some people don’t like me, but you’ll get that wherever you go.

I think you can either attempt to outgrow those who hate you and not care, or let it consume and overwhelm you until it takes control of your life. It is difficult to avoid the unavoidable, so me recommending that option is like me recommending you avoid the killer shark that is one second away from making you yet another trophy between its teeth.

Bullying gradually will become worse. There are numerous news stories about people been stabbed at school and murdered, and I am glad I didn’t become a news story.

Anti-bullying campaigns don’t work, and neither do the videos. You will never stop it; you just have to outlive it. If you can do that, then you have officially conquered it. This is my view, and not that of All World Issues.

That particular young lady wishes to start a campaign to build awareness against bullying and has other great ideologies in regards to such a plan. I’m glad that such a person is committed to such goals. I wish her luck and anyone else who attempts such a plan.

You ain’t gonna stop bullying for it is imbedded inside human culture, and honestly, how are you going to change human culture when there are 7.4 billion human beings on the planet. Now, many of them have not bullied others. Many of them have never been bullied. But the other couple billion people have either bullied or been bullied. I ask those who wish to help, can you really help solve all that pain?

People are capable of the greatest of things. They are capable of love, of happiness, of amazing intellect, of generosity, of selflessness. People can also do unspeakable evil. They are capable of hate, misogyny, and violence. This is human nature. Everyone can do good, just as everyone can do bad. Can you really change a couple thousand years of evolution?